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 Marie Antoinette Documentary on PBS 
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Post Marie Antoinette Documentary on PBS
I'm currently watching it now. Has anybody else seen this? It is a two hour documentary on the life of Marie Antoinette. What do you guys think?


Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:21 am
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I saw parts of it. I was very impressed by Lady Fraser and I wish they had just let her speak the entire time. She spoke movingly and with tears in her eyes. Evelyn Lever was fun to watch and listen to; she reminded me of a French professor I once had and presented the facts in a clear and detached matter. I was disappointed with Simon Schama. I love his book "Citizens" and was disappointed when he said, "When Marie-Antoinette finally decided to act like a queen, she became the worst type of queen." He thought she stood in the way of freedom and democracy. Well, I guess she was suspicious of a democracy that involved chopping off heads and parading them through the streets. And how was a daughter of the Caesars supposed to act - she donned the tricolor after all, which was a major concession, for a Habsburg.

I did not like the overemphasis on the king and queen's intimate life. But at least they did not make a big deal of the Fersen legend!!!! Yahoo!!! Even Evelyn Lever admitted that no one knows for sure if Fersen and the queen were ever lovers!! Pimprenelle, you must be making some impact on all the French discussion boards :wink: !

The first part seemed to be devoted to showing how frivolous the queen was and how she did not care about the plight of the people. Well, even as very young girl she expressed concern for the people, and gave her money to help those in need. So there were many innaccurate statements. I missed the middle part but my husband taped it so I will watch it later perhaps. The ending was so heartrending, I could hardly stand to watch it, although they glossed over the ill-treatment of the royal family and the dauphin in the Temple. Madame Elisabeth they did not mention at all (that I heard), even when they were showing pictures of her.

There were other fascinating French scholars who spoke, but Lady Fraser stole the show, along with the voice of an actress speaking the queen's own words. The queen spoke of her own life and situation with greater clarity and perception than anyone else, of course.

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Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:18 pm
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I stayed up to watch this last night but I missed the first 20 minutes. I thought it was well done although I didn't agree with some of the commentary. Madame Elisabeth wasn't mentioned by name. I was glad to see Chantal Thomas--putting a name to the face.
Towards the end, the actress playing Marie Antoinette faced an empy courtroom and moved around during the accusation from her abused son. She was standing, not sitting, for the cart ride to the guillotine. Epilogues for son and daughter but no mention of Louis and Antoinette's reburial in St. Denis.
Overall, it was an interesting documentary on her.


Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:33 pm
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Yes, Arietta! I agree with all of your observations! They had her standing in the tumbril, and facing the wrong direction!

So that was Chantal Thomas? I was wondering if it were she, I kept missing her name.

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Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:41 pm
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Ideed ! Chantal Thomas was the only one who made efforts for speaking English.

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Last edited by Pimprenelle on Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:26 am
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I completely agree with everyone's statements. I wish they had mentioned more about Madame Elisabeth as well, and it seems to me they showed a one sided view of her frivolous times. To say she didn't care at all about the hardships about the people at all isn't true. Also, I was a bit bothered by Simon's commentary towards the end. He was a bit too harsh in his opinions, I thought.


Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:02 am
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Chantal spoke English beautifully!! It was great to see her; she was very impressive!

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Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:02 pm
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:( A shame they didn't though praise the Queen as I would have hoped, but at least they did not deny that she was courageous.

I find it hard to believe why anyone would think of her as evil and cruel, considering I don't think any women would not tolerate people putting up pornography images of them, mocking the children, scolding your husband, etc. But she thought she could ignore them and all she had to say was, "I forgive my enemies for the harm they done to me."
What kind of cruel person would say such a humble quote?!

I was upset also that they did not mention the only reason why she spent so much money was for her dear friends, Polignac etc.

Also, many people think she did not try as a Queen but I think she tried but some would argue she should of read about the french politics more but considering even though she did not like reading it just was not her passion, and you cannot force someone to take a job they simply won't enjoy and if someone does not have the gift to be a leader of a country, then let them be an independant leader for thier own talents or gifts.
She was not the best leader of the country but she was the best leader in her own way and died gloriously and not in vain.


Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:41 pm
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You get no arguments from me!!

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Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:44 pm
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:) We should just all personally just make up a true documentary on Marie Antoinette that simply remains true to her character.

I think Pimp and Therese! You both should consider it! :D I think your both intelligent and very true fans of Marie Antoinette!


Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:46 pm
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Thank you, L-A!! Yes, Pim and I are trying to save Marie-Antoinette by saving Madame de Polignac. Stay tuned!!

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Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:47 pm
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Dear Madame Polignac needs to be saved as well. Marie and Polignac's name needs to be cleared, it's pretty sickening that everyone views the Queen as such a monster when she was sent by God as an angel.


Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:49 pm
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That is true. She was very special, and I do believe she was a gift for France.

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Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:15 pm
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Louis-Antoinette wrote:
:) We should just all personally just make up a true documentary on Marie Antoinette that simply remains true to her character.

I think Pimp and Therese! You both should consider it! :D I think your both intelligent and very true fans of Marie Antoinette!


I think that is a very good idea! :D


Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:19 pm
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I saw the Documentary earlier this week and I thought it was okay. It didn't seem to flow very well at parts.
And I agree about not caring for the comments about her not caring for the people. She did. Although I do agree with the belief that she was very unaware at exactly how bad it was for the Peasents. She could've known but did she understand it?

I don't understand how anyone can possibly blame MA for her reaction to the revoltuion. The attempts on her life and the horrors that she saw...the revolution was nothing more then a senseless blood bath. The biggest tyrants were the actual revolutionarys! That is why it failed.

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Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:41 pm
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